Abstract: Use of depression rating scales in chronic fatigue syndrome

J Psychosom Res. 2005 Sep;59(3):181-4.

Henderson M, Tannock C.

Academic Department of Psychological Medicine, GKT School of Medicine and Institute of Psychiatry, Weston Education Centre, Cutcombe Road, London SE5 9RJ, United Kingdom.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the performance of three commonly used depression rating scales in a hospital sample of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

METHODS: Sixty-one patients with CDC criteria for CFS completed the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D) and the depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D). Current psychiatric status was assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R.

DISORDERS: Patient version (SCID-P). Receiver operating curves were drawn for each of the depression rating scales.

RESULTS: Thirty-one percent of the patients were depressed according to the SCID-P. Using the standard cut-offs, both GHQ and HAM-D overestimated the number of depressed patients, whilst the HADS-D underestimated the number. The receiver operating curves suggest that the optimum cut-offs for GHQ, HAM-D and HADS-D in this population are 7/8, 13/14 and 8/9, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Standard cutoffs may not be appropriate when using depression rating scales in CFS patients in a tertiary care setting.

PMID: 16198192 [PubMed – in process]

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